You might think by the title that going against the grain might have something to do with gluten or grains not allowed on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol). Nope. That isn’t what I’m talking about.
Today I’m making reference to the decision to choose the path less traveled. The one that takes you away from the current medical model, taking your health down a different path, finding yourself a practitioner outside of the medical model. The concerns, and even the fears when doing that. I base this on fears that I’ve had myself and conversations that I’ve had with my clients.
It is a difficult decision.
No doubt. We are brought up in the current medical model and for most of the illnesses we ran into as children, it sufficed. We are used to going to the doctor, taking a pill or two and feeling better. We are used to having insurance help control the much of the cost of our illnesses when it is required, once the deductible has been met. When significant procedures are required, like surgeries, insurance helps to make the cost easier to bear.
When it comes to myself and my clients, we have been trying to find solutions in the medical model for years. Spending thousands of dollars with doctors, specialists, tests, medication etc getting no where. No where and very likely worse. For many, it is what we know so we keep trying with the hope that at some point, they will stumble on something that makes sense and a pill we can take to make it all better. But despite all of the advances in medicine and hoping beyond hope we never seem to really stumble on a solution, we just keep getting worse and worse.
What alternatives do we have? What can we do?
Most of us have utilized the internet to try to find answers. They are out there but there are so many people with so many confusing solutions and despite your best efforts trying this and that, it doesn’t seem to work. More money down the drain.
You are thinking it is time to find a practitioner that is a little more holistic, natural. You feel this is your next best choice but you are hesitant. There are fears of course and I would like to address some of these for you in the form of answers to questions.
- How do I know I have the right practitioner? This is a tough one but I’m going to try to answer it for you. There is a structure for healing and starting with foundation improvements is necessary. There are many different types of natural and holistic practitioners out there and all of them have studied methods that can help. The reality is that health improvement in most cases requires a team. I have listed some of them below.
- Health coach – that can address improving diet and other lifestyle factors
- A practitioner that can run and interpret tests and determine protocols from the results
- Chiropractor to help with alignment of your body. The body can’t heal when it isn’t aligned. They can also help with joint pain.
- Massage therapist to help with muscle pains and joint pain. Can make alignment easier.
- Functional medicine doctor for medication if required.
- Stress guidance – yoga/meditation
- Do I need a full health team to get started? No. You don’t What you need to get started is someone that understands autoimmune and chronic illness. It would be beneficial if they had standard tests to evaluate you initially for food sensitivities, hormones, adrenals and liver function to get you started. Healing can’t happen if there are issues in these areas and this is always the place to start. The body must be supported properly so lifestyle changes are also required with the diet for autoimmune and chronic illness being the Autoimmune Protocol. If they aren’t starting with this diet at the very least, you are going to struggle to heal. And they should understand how autoimmune happens and why.
- Programs and practitioners outside of the medical model can be expensive and insurance doesn’t cover the cost? This is where the biggest concerns usually come from with my clients. When you step outside of the medical model, insurance does not cover the costs. Tests are not cheap, and if your practitioner is a good one your time together will be for at least 6 months, maybe longer. They won’t be as expensive as a doctor. I know visits I have been to with a doctor have cost me $130 for 10 min of her time with no resolution. And I also know, I had already spent thousands in the medical community getting nowhere. By the time I found out what my struggles were and the people to help me get through it, I was willing to commit the money to get me to a place of healing. I knew it was going to take some time and financial commitment but I also knew I would be taking my life back and I was worth it. I find this to be a big issue for many that I speak to – realizing their worth. They compare their worth to the money that they might have to spend and put themselves on the back burner. They put their children’s’ extracurricular activities ahead of their health. They fear the conversation with their husbands or significant others so they avoid the conversations or fail to stand up for themselves when they do. They aren’t facing the reality that they will ultimately get worse, that autoimmunity will take 15-20 years off their lives and that the sooner they commit, the cheaper it will be. The bottom line is that they don’t value themselves.
- What if it doesn’t work? If you have found the right practitioner, it isn’t a question of whether or not it will work. It is more about digging enough to find all of the contributing triggers and eliminating them and supporting your body in the right way so it can heal.
- How long will it take? At least 6 months. Could be up to a year or more depending on how many triggers you have. You can’t eliminate them all at once. It won’t work. There is a structure to what has to be done first, second, third, etc.
- Why are supplements necessary? Once a body gets to a this level of dysfunction, meaning autoimmune or chronic illness, it can’t get back to a state of health without some help. Your practitioner should have a reason for each of the supplements they are prescribing and they should be starting at the very least with a gut protocol. The supplements should be clean meaning free of gluten, soy, dairy, etc, and they should be highly absorbable. Most of them should be a temporary thing while your body heals. You may require some for maintenance ongoing but that is understandable since being healthy in this time is a struggle and you don’t want to end up in this place again.
It is a big decision to go against the grain when it comes to your health.
You will be venturing out into the great unknown from a model that you have been raised to trust. And it isn’t that the model isn’t a good model for emergencies and life or death struggles. It is amazing what this model and the people in the model can do to save lives. The current medical model just isn’t set up to support chronic illness and what is needed to heal from it. Not yet anyway.
When it comes time for you to make that choice, if you haven’t already, please put yourself as the biggest priority in your life. Find yourself a practitioner that works for you, that can help you dig deep to find and eliminate your triggers so you can take your life back. You are worth it.